An inquiry into the true elements of happiness suggests the new science of Happinometry. The author concludes that the surest way to increase happiness is through unconditional love and service.
"Happiness is not a secret; it is a choice. If you have made the choice, Love to Be Happy, by Mehdi Bahadori, can help you find it." Bernie S. Siegel, M.D., author of Love, Medicine and Miracles and Peace, Love and Healing
"Dr. Bahadori has given us a wonderful formula for bringing happiness into the world and into our lives. Not surprisingly, love is the most important ingredient." Stephanie Swanson
"This is a book everybody should read, not only because everybody wants to be happy, but also it gives one a feeling of peace and personal communion with the living presence of the eternal." Dominga L. Reyes, Ph.D., President, World University of America
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Is Human Happiness Possible?
2. A Vision of a Happy World
3.The True Elements of Happiness
4. Applying the Science of Happinometry
5. Developing the Right Attitude for Achieving Happiness
6. LOVE: The Key Element in Achieving Happiness
7. UNCONDITIONAL SERVICE: The Surest Way to Increase Love and Reduce Misery
8. The Vital Practice of Linking with a Master
9. Ten Guaranteed Ways to Further Increase Happiness
10. The Importance of Cultivatiing Human Values
11. Happiness IS the Best Medicine
My Search for the Happiest People in the World
I have always been interested in knowing who are the happiest people in the world. I have not had the means of carrying out an elaborate research program to find a scientific answer to my question, but by reading about or talking with different people, and by visiting various countries, I have attempted to observe and inquire about people's happiness.
During a Swiss Air flight from Zurich, Switzerland, to Chicago, I struck up a conversation with a flight attendant who was sitting just across from me. He had finished serving dinner in my section and had sat down to rest. I took advantage of the situation and asked him a few questions that I often ask of people in various parts of the world. After a few irrelevant questions, such as how long he had been flying with Swiss Air and to which countries he had flown, I asked him what the problems in Switzerland were, and whether he thought that the Swiss were the happiest people in the world. I told him that I had always admired his country for being exceptionally organized and clean, for staying neutral during international conflicts, and for maintaining an unusually high standard of living.
The young Swiss answered my second question first. He thought the Swiss were not the happiest people in the world, despite what I thought about his country. About my first question as to what their problems were, he answered, "Environment and relationships."
I did not have to ask him what he meant by the problem of environment. I knew that he was concerned about environmental pollution in Europe and throughout the world, which has affected his people as well as everyone else on the planet. When I asked him what he meant by relationships, he said, "I am 35 years old, married, with two young children, and I have been working for about 12 years now. It has not happened to me, but it has happened to a few of my colleagues in Swiss Air and to many families throughout my country. Young couples, often with two children, simply file for divorce, stating that they are tired of the boring life they have. The courts almost always give the custody of the children to the mothers and make the fathers pay for the children's support. The men are forced to pay about half of their salaries for this support, but are given the right to visit their children only about once a week." Our conversation ended here, as he had to tend to the needs of other passengers.
This young man indeed faced a major concern, living in constant anxiety and not knowing whether he would have to experience the same trials as many of his colleagues. Divorces have become quite prevalent around the world, particularly in the industrial and wealthy countries. I believe that many problems in society stem from these broken homes, where the children experience less of the most essential ingredient and substance of life - LOVE.
After the Swiss Air attendant left me to tend to the needs of other passengers, I tried to visualize the life of a young man (Swiss, German, American, or of any other nationality) who has gone through divorce and now lives alone. I visualized him leaving his work and returning to an empty home, devoid of the people he needs to give love to and receive love from. What good is the beauty, neatness or organization of a country, or of all the wealth and material conveniences of life, if there isn't anyone for him to give love to and receive love from?
I have been fortunate to have made over one hundred trips to thirty-five countries around the world, mostly to give lectures, to present research articles, or to conduct or attend workshops at international conferences. During these trips, I made appoint of visiting with conference participants and others, asking them whether they considered themselves to be the happiest people on Earth. Sometimes I wondered to myself if the people living in that country were happy at all. I talked to people from countries with various standards of living. The answer I always received, except for once, was, "Not at all happy." Each person tried to explain and clarify why, with the events taking place in his or her country, they were not the happiest people. These were all educated people, therefore they had a basic idea of what happiness is, and whether or not they were in fact happy. I knew that this approach was not scientific, nor could I, for example, present my findings at a scientific co! nference (and I was not after such a presentation); I was just curious about who the happiest people were.
The only positive reply I ever received by asking such a general question was in India. When I asked a young engineer in a small town near Bangalore as to which people of the world he thought were the happiest, he replied, after thinking a little bit, "I believe we Indians are."
Is it possible that the people of India, with all its poverty, are happier than, for example, Americans, Swiss, or Germans, who have such high standards of living? How can Indians, with a per capita natural resource consumption of about 1/30th of that of Americans, be happier? Can an Indian fellow, who works very hard to barely make a living and whose entire belongings may not even be worth a dollar, truly be happier than an American millionaire who lives in a mansion and has all the conveniences that today's science and technology can provide.
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1993
Also by Mehdi Bahadori: The University of Life
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